One of the advantages that the new Media Class enjoys and uses to the full, is that of holding others to account. On endless News Programmes and Talk Shows, Media people put the spotlight on others. In doing so, they also occupy the spotlight themselves, but the difference is that they are not required to answer questions or be held to account. When questioning people, the Media Class chooses the format, picks the live audience if there is one, selects the topic and asks the questions. We viewers tend not to think of these backroom preliminaries when we watch or listen, but they shape our perceptions on every topic.
The format can vary from friendly chat for people the Media class approves of, to “putting in the dock” for those they don’t. My first experience of this power came in the late 1980’s when I accompanied a friend to some TV and radio studios where he took part in debates on two social topics – abortion and providing birth control for under-age girls. My friend was in each case the sole “traditional” voice. All the other members of the panels were on the liberal side of the issues and most represented those spurious organisations that always seem to have lots of money, full-time employees and national titles but few members.
I did not entirely share my friends views at the time, but I respected his sincerity, his specialist knowledge on the topics and believed he probably represented the views and feelings of most of the public.
I soon saw that the odds were completely stacked against him and that he had been invited in order to be sacrificed and his views ridiculed or worse. Prior to the debates he and I would be sat alone and frostily “entertained” in one corner, whilst the Media people and the other panellists laughed and joked at the other end of the room. It was noticeable that they all knew each other well and were like a group of old friends. In todays language, we would conclude that they were all on “the same page”!
The live audience was also very unrepresentative of the public, feminists and young social work students being the norm and they made their feelings felt whenever my friend was given a chance to speak. The introduction to the programme usually set the tone, put my friend on the defensive and made it clear that the chairperson was no disinterested party to the proceedings. After a few of these experiences, I advised my friend to cease taking part in these ambushes.
At that time, I did not realise that these were the early days of the Media Class exercising its muscle and starting the process of changing our culture and social values. In time, I realised that conservative people always got sandbagged on such programmes because the Media people had an agenda. It was not long before the News bulletins too, only presented “progressive” views favourably. My friend, and others like him on other programmes, was the ‘token” conservative brought in to be sacrificed. In this way, conservative viewers have been made to feel marginalised over the years.
When next you watch a TV programme on a social/political topic, just spend a moment or two thinking about how the programme was put together and remind yourself that the Media Class, which has chosen the topic, the format and the participants, has an agenda.
Only on this website will you find a true understanding of the Media Class, its agenda and its methods.